ANSWERS: 3
  • The moon does rotate on its axis at the rate of 1 revolution in 28 1/4 days as it orbits the earth.
    • Anoname
      The Moon always has the same side facing us. You often here of the dark side of the Moon that never faces the Earth. How, if it rotates, is this possible?
    • Thinker
      Look it up your self. Just type in "rotation of the moon" it will give you the answer.
    • Anoname
      I'm not disagreeing. I just don't get it.
  • It does rotate, but its synchronous with the earth kinda like dance partners where one stands in the center and the other spins around the partner facing them. "The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the moon to rotate once on its axis. As a result, the moon does not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous rotation." Think about it... If the moon didn't rotate on its axis as it goes around the earth we wouldn't see the same side all the time. It would be more like swinging a dangling watch on a chain around a central object. You'd see the front on one side and the back when its on the other side. The moon and earth are more like partners holding hands.
  • It orbits with the same period that it rotates. So it makes one rotation every 28 days and one revolution every 28 days. It's a phenomenon called "synchronous rotation", which is a specific form of "tidal locking." Mercury is also tidally locked to the Sun, but it's not synchronous. The Moon is locked 1:1 with the Earth, but Mercury is locked 3:2 with the Sun. Every 3 days on Mercury is also 2 years. There are exoplanets, i.e. planets around other stars, that are synchronously tidally locked to their stars. A little known fact about the tidal locking of the Moon is that, since the orbit of the Moon around the Earth is not perfectly circular, the speed with which the Moon orbits the Earth is not perfectly constant, but the rotation of the Moon is. That means that we actually see just a little over half of the Moon's surface from Earth, as sometimes the rotation gets a little ahead or a little behind the orbit, but it always averages out.

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